If you’ve hit the conference scene, watched a webinar or opened a newsletter, it should come as no surprise that AI was the hottest topic at the ATD International Conference and Expo this year. In fact, 10% of the session titles contained AI, and that number doesn’t even include the sessions mentioning AI in the description only. While that might seem a little low, the sessions were pitched in summer of 2023. Who could have predicted then that a year later there would be more than 12,000 AI tools on the market today?

After attending a number of AI-focused sessions, here are a few of my favorite stats, trends, tips and future predictions heard around the conference floor in New Orleans.

AI and the future of work

You’ve probably heard “AI won’t take your job, but someone using AI will.” And it’s probably a sentiment that many people have considered to be a possibility, but focusing on a negative outcome that may never happen is missing the larger picture of exciting technological change.

Here are a few ideas as to how AI can create change – for the better.

  • Topic ideas and research. For me, coming up with ideas for what is hot in SCORM can be challenging. This might be similar with your content. With some prompting, AI tools can help come up with ideas and do some of the research gathering by providing relevant links.
  • Writing titles. So far, this blog has two working titles, and I’ll probably think of one more by the end. One of my marketing teammates may later suggest a couple as well. In the end, I’ll probably Frankenstein monster a title together using the best parts of each. AI can be your Assistant Igor and bring you the title parts to craft into an even better one.
  • Brainstorm what tasks could be done by AI more efficiently and what your team wishes they could do if they had the time.

At this point, no one can predict exactly where AI will take us and how fast things will change. But it is a good time to start considering how AI can help with tasks that aren’t anyone’s favorite to complete.

AI and the not so optimal job tasks

We all have those tasks. The ones that incite grumbles. The ones where we think if only I didn’t have to do x then I could focus on y where’d I really shine. And then there are the ones that have been lingering on the bottom of the to-do list for longer than you care to admit. Maybe that task is going through your vast course library and finding out exactly what is really in there. But asking someone to sit through 100 hours of compliance training, for instance, to correctly tag the course content and add helpful metadata to each one is more likely to cause an employee to leave than to cause excitement. With an AI tool, that job can be done much more quickly, leaving you and your employees time to focus on where the training gaps are, what’s outdated based on the results and how you can innovate your training to better serve your learners or customers.

Let AI tools do the laborious tasks that no one is jumping at, so your L&D team can better focus on creating outstanding content, and in turn, your learners will have better courses.

Quick tips

  • Know your audience. Provide context around who you are targeting and what they’re interested in to have the best results.
  • Provide clear instructions. Before using an AI tool to help with content, consider what you really want the tool to do. Be specific. If you need a set number of objectives or questions, tell the tool specifically what it is that you require and the number needed.
  • Identify what’s important to your training. If you use Bloom’s Taxonomy, SMART goals or other learning frameworks or methods, mention that in your AI instructions to have it return results in the format that’s important to your organization.

Hopefully these tips and takeaways from ATD will help you start planning for adding or optimizing AI usage at your company.

If your content library has grown organically or through mergers, acquisitions or your own Dr. Frankenstein methods, Rustici Generator, our new AI tool, is coming soon. Have questions about AI, technology tools or just about anything? Reach out!

Alicia is our content marketing manager who captivates audiences by providing comic relief to the eLearning standards. She wrote the cmi5 Best Practices Guide and writes about eLearning in presentations, blogs and articles regularly. Every year, she volunteers as a reporter for the Daily Dragon and is often found volunteering at a therapeutic equestrian center.